New Forest Acronyns and Abbreviations

CDA – New Forest Commoners Defence Association: founded in 1909 in response to the increasing conflict between the spreading urban populations around the New Forest’s fringes and the Commoners’ animals.

CNP – Campaign for National Parks: the national charity dedicated to campaigning to protect all National Parks in England and Wales. NFA represents the New Forest at a national level as a Council member of CNP.

CPRE – Campaign to Protect Rural England: an organisation that campaigns, for a beautiful and living countryside. They “work to protect, promote and enhance our towns and countryside to make them better places to live, work and enjoy, and to ensure the countryside is protected for now and future generations”.

CROW Act – Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000: the Act that granted ramblers the “right to roam” off footpaths. Oddly enough, it doesn’t apply to the Crown Lands, as they are already open access, but the Act is relevant in the way it may open up access and alternative recreation opportunities off the open Forest.

DEFRA/Defra – Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: the UK’S ministerial government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy.

EIA – Environmental Impact Assessment: an assessment of the environmental consequences (positive and negative) of a plan, policy, programme or actual projects prior to the decision to move forward with the proposed action.

FC – Forestry Commission (England): the non ministerial government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woodlands and increasing their value to society and the environment. The Forestry Commission manages the Crown Lands in the New Forest National Park.

FHT – Freshwater Habitats Trust: an evidence-based conservation charity, with a strong science grounding, protecting the life of all freshwaters – including those that are small and undervalued like headwater streams, ponds, flushes and ditches – for everyone to enjoy.

FoE – Friends of the Earth: a global organisation that has a New Forest group focusing on climate change and related issues such as marine reserves, biodiversity loss and renewables.
HCC – Hampshire County Council: one of the local authorities with responsibility for an area that includes part of the New Forest.
HIWWT – Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust: the leading nature conservation charity in the two counties which, for more than 50 years, has protected local wildlife and inspired people to love nature in Hampshire, the Island and the local seas.
HLF – Heritage Lottery Fund: the body that distributes a share of the income from the National Lottery to fund projects aimed at preserving and making accessible the nation’s heritage, having awarded £7.1 billion to over 40,000 projects since 1994.
NE – Natural England: the agency responsible for advising the Government on the natural environment in England.
NFA – New Forest Association: the independent New Forest campaigning membership organisation dedicated to the long-term protection of the New Forest
NFAF – New Forest Access Forum: a consultative body on access issues formed in consequence of the CROW Act {qv). Members represent an “interest” rather than an organization, divided mostly between recreation interests and land managers. They do not always have a dedicated conservation representative.
NFDC– New Forest District Council: a non-unitary local authority created on 1 April 1974, resulting from the merger of the borough of Lymington, New Forest Rural District and part of Ringwood and Fordingbridge Rural District.
NFHAG – New Forest History and Archaeology Group: originally the New Forest section of the Hampshire Field Club, they run a series of lectures for members and usually engage in an annual excavation on or near the Forest.

NFLAS – New Forest Land Advice Service: the Service’s core work involves a wide range of advice to anyone who owns and/or manages land in the area mainly commoners, equine owners and landowners/ farmers – advising on over 100 land holdings every year.

NFNPA – New Forest National Park Authority: the organisation responsible for preparing the National Park Management Plan and the local planning authority. The National Park Authority is the body with overall responsibility for ensuring that the National Park is safeguarded for people to enjoy now and in the future.

New Forest Transition – Like the Verderers has no abbreviation perhaps to avoid confusion with the New Forest Trust. New Forest Transition is part of the global Transition movement which exists to create low carbon societies. They aim to reduce the impact communities have on the local area through reducing fossil fuel dependency, creating less waste, increasing recycling, supporting local food and sharing skills to build community resilience.


NFT – New Forest Trust: an organisation founded in 2003 working to raise funds both locally and from visitors to help support the preservation of the New Forest, with a particular interest in the provision of affordable housing for Commoners.
NIA – Nature Improvement Areas: established to create joined-up and resilient ecological networks at a landscape scale and run by partnerships of local authorities, local communities and landowners, the private sector and conservation organisations, with funding provided by Defra (qv) and NE (qv).
NNR – National Nature Reserves: established to protect some of the country’s most important habitats, species and geology, and to provide “outdoor laboratories” for research.
NT – National Trust: the charity “dedicated to looking after special places for everyone, for ever”, encompassing conservation, heritage and the environment.
OPOF – Our Past Our Future: Landscape Partnership Scheme, supported by HLF (qv).
Ramsar Sites – Sites of International Importance for Wetlands: not an acronym, but a UNESCO (another acronym) intergovernmental treaty established in 1971 and known as the Ramsar Convention after the city in Iran where it was signed.
RFFS – The Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpath Society was formed in 1974 to protect the interests of users of public paths by ensuring (a) their reasonable maintenance and freedom from obstruction  and (b) their adequate signposting and waymarking. It aims to urge local authorities to discharge their responsibilities with regard to public paths and seeks to foster and maintain friendly cooperation between path users, landowners, local authorities and the community generally.
RSPB – Royal Society for the Protection of Birds: founded in 1889, the RSPB has grown to become the largest nature conservation charity in the country, consistently delivering successful conservation, forging powerful new partnerships with other organisations and inspiring others to stand up and give nature the home it deserves.
SAC – Special Area of Conservation: areas designated under the EC Habitats Directive.
SANGS (sometimes SANG) – Suitable Accessible Natural Green Space: the name given to green space that is of a quality and type suitable to be used to provide an alternative green space to divert visitors from visiting an otherwise over-visited protected area.
SINC – Site of Importance for Nature Conservation: a designation used by local authorities in England for sites of substantive local nature-conservation and geological value which make a vital contribution to maintaining local natural character and distinctiveness.
SPA – Special Protection Area: areas designated under the EC Birds Directive, which came into force in 1979.
SSSI – Site of Special Scientific Interest: the SSSI series has developed since 1949 as the suite of sites providing statutory protection for the best examples of the UK’S flora, fauna and geological or physiographical features.
TTCT – Two Trees Conservation Team: the FC’s (qv) Conservation Volunteers who do tasks like stripping areas of seedling pine, clearing ride edges to benefit butterflies, and pulling invasive Himalayan Balsam.
TVBC – Test Valley Borough Council: a local government district and borough based in Andover, Hampshire, stretching from boundaries with Southampton in the south to Newbury in the north. It was formed on 1 April 1974 by a merger of the boroughs of Andover and Romsey, along with Andover Rural District and Romsey and Stockbridge Rural District.
VERDERERS of the NEW FOREST – this is an exception, in that it is never abbreviated to VNF. but is included here as an important Forest organisation.
WC – Wiltshire Council: another local authority with responsibility for an area that includes part of the New Forest.
Much of the above has come from the 2018 Spring edition of the New Forest Association ‘Forest Matters’ Newsletter.